Playing Video Games Improves Elderly Brains

Playing video games can sharpen up the brains of middle-aged and elderly adults, claims a recent study performed at the University of Illinois' Human Perception and Performance Lab. Professor Art Kramer has concluded in his Psychology & Aging study that playing video games can help older adults keep their mind and senses sharp by attenuating cognitive decline.

Kramer's team at the University of Illinois recruited 40 adults over 60 years old. Half the volunteers were asked to play Big Huge Games' Rise of Nations, a real-time strategy computer game published by Microsoft Game Studios.

Before half of them started to play Rise of Nations, all volunteers were assessed on a variety of tasks to test their brain power, including mathematical and visual memory exercises.

Kramer found out that the video gamers improved their mental skills after playing Rise of Nations, while also surpassing the non gamers in several tests, especially in those that required to switch between tasks. The gamers also showed better short-term memory of visual recall, as well as the ability to identify objects.

This is not the first time that a study finds out that playing video games improves cognitive functions.

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